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REALLY living with it
Jul 13, 2011

I'm the crazy guy you responded to a year ago when I was first diagnosed... When true blood was a form of therapy.. lol I'm still a bit nuts but have matured a lot since. I've been following procedure with Meds and my numbers are now normal. I just wanted to say thank you for the great advice from way before I was positive until now. You really are my blood sucking hero!!!!! I do want to ask the most silly question. So here goes and I'm hoping you respond. I have these concerns about lifespan and hiv/aids. I would appreciate it if this answer would apply to every hiv person out there but I'm being a bit selfish about it. I'm really concerned about my own personal well being. Is there anything wrong with that? I spend a lot of time giving... And even though I'm not asking for anything in return.. I want to know about me and what my life holds so that I can prosper.

My first question is... If I'm undetectable , on truvada, reyataz and norvir, and my cd4 went from 350 to 620 .. is that a good indication that I'm going to live a full length and normal life? If I haven't had any symptoms, when will they start? When does the average newbie end up having to switch Meds? Does switching Meds help if you gain a resistance to the specific drugs that I'm on? I know this is a lot to ask. On top of all of this bs, dating has been a bitch. I'm trying to meet someone to have a child with. I don't even know if its a good idea if I'm considered a sick bastard in society. I know you have things under control. Im not just messaging you based I'm your amazing sense of humor. I could call one of those dumb ass hotlines but no one says it better than doc bob! I do have a million questions to ask but i think this is enough for someone who helps me and so many other people.

Love from D to David

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, D to David.

Welcome back to the forum. I'm delighted to hear you are doing so well on your combination antiretroviral therapy and now have "normal" numbers. BRAVO!

Regarding lifespan for HIVers, I've actually addressed this topic a number of times in the past. (Have a look in the archives.) Unfortunately none of us has an infallible crystal ball to accurately predict the future. HIV/AIDS can be "unpredictable" at times, and the clinical course varies considerably from person to person based on many variables involving the virus (viral strain, for instance) and the host (immune integrity, concurrent illnesses, etc.). Add in variables such as adherence to medications and whether the HIVer is on the optimal regimen and you begin to understand why predicting longevity can be difficult. It's also important to point out that the medications you are currently on have only been around for a few years. Consequently we really don't know how well they will hold up 20, 30, 40 or 50 years from now. Chances are other newer, more potent, less toxic therapies (and hopefully even a "cure") will be available by then. That said, if I had to make a guess as to how someone with your stats would do, I would advise him to plan on dying of old age rather than old AIDS. You've had an excellent response to treatment and have no history of opportunistic diseases. Consequently if you work closely with an HIV specialist physician, adhere strictly to your medication regimen and take care of yourself (don't smoke; don't abuse drugs; exercise regularly; keep stress down; and optimize your nutrition), I see no reason you shouldn't plan to be here for many decades.

"Symptoms" would most likely be related to an opportunistic illness. We become more susceptible to opportunistic illnesses when our CD4 counts decline (particularly below 200).

When and if an HIVer switches meds varies form person to person. Some switch because they become resistant to their medicaments (viral load goes up and CD4 count declines); others switch because they cannot tolerate side effects or toxicities; and many others switch simply because a newer, more potent, less toxic and/or more convenient medication becomes available.

As for having a child, that is certainly possible. See link below.

Finally, regarding HBO's True Blood, undead beefcake continues to be an excellent form of therapy! Sookie, Bill, Eric, Jason, Sam and Alcide rock!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

we want children! how safe is sperm washing? (HIV AND PREGNANCY, 2011) Jul 7, 2011

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